Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Henson plans for "Fraggle Rock" Feature Film

Several members of the press have started reporting that the Jim Henson Company’s is in the early stages of creating an all new “Fraggle Rock” feature film. The idea of returning to Fraggle Rock has been floating around ever since the show ended in the ‘80s, but now the Henson Company feels that it the right time to bring the Fraggle’s universe back to life and reintroduce the world to the funny little creatures known as Fraggles. This is exciting and intriguing news -- I did some follow-up with some friends at Henson, and have some information on this project that you may enjoy. Henson responded saying that early work on a Fraggle Rock film is underway.

Henson said in one report, that the project will find the Fraggles having to come out into “outer space” (a.k.a. the human world). The group will have a wild adventure as they find themselves in this weird and wild new world, far away from Fraggle Rock. Henson has also stressed that the story will be aimed at both children and young adults (as they hope to appeal to new young fans, and also the fans that grew up on the show). They also stated that the original Fraggle characters are planned to be the stars of the film. The early work on developing the project is underway within the Henson Company and they hope to start shooting sometime next year.

The company is working to bring back as many of the original Fraggle Rock cast and crew for this project. There is no exact information on who is “on board” at this time, however some rumblings say that Jerry Juhl, Jocelyn Stevenson, Brian Henson, Cheryl Henson, Lisa Henson (among others) have meet to discuss the project on several occasions. Henson states that they are aiming for a 2007 release, however at this point it could change. Henson is also hoping for to make this a theatrically released film; however the project could be reduced to TV-movie or direct-to-video status. No director, writers, or cast have been announced yet.

The idea for a “Fraggle Rock” movie is not a new one; Jim Henson had talked several times with Jerry Juhl about producing a film. However the plans never materialized. Many of the Fraggle creators, cast and crew are excited about the idea of revisiting the world, the themes, and the magic of the show. Although the idea for a Fraggle film is not new, the idea has gained much more support in the last year. Upon selling the Muppets characters to Disney, the Henson Company has been looking at ways to revive some of their other popular creations. In January 2005, Henson co-CEO, Brian Henson said that “the studio's now considering filming new "Fraggle" material”. Since January, internal support for the idea grew. Along with the large response for Fraggle products over the past year (including 6 new DVD releases, including the complete first season), Henson feels that now is a perfect time for a new production. Not only would it appeal to the fans (who are now able to rediscover the classic show on DVD), but a new production could be just the thing to really re-launch the Fraggles and draw in a new generation to the world of the Fraggles.

The company is already working strong to continue and revive many of their popular fantasy-world and sci-fi franchises; however they are also hoping to get back on top by reestablishing their power in children’s, and family entertainment. They hope that a “Fraggle Rock” feature film will be a good step in the right direction – thoughts of even creating a new Fraggle Rock television show have been mentioned (however, Henson wants to see how the response to a new movie is before they start over committing themselves).

I’ll keep you posted with more information on this project as it comes; but the watch out for the return of the rock with an all new “Fraggle Rock” feature film!

(For the full story, read my extended article at MuppetCentral.com)

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